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Aera in the Community Dec 10, 2020

In Kern County, Aera employees keep holiday-giving strong through the pandemic

Kern Co - Jamison Center Gifts

Just as in this December 2019 photo, Aera employees gathered hundreds of toys this year for the Jamison Children’s Center’s Holiday Drive in Kern County.

This year, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aera’s employees have stepped up even more than usual to continue that tradition of giving to help make the holidays a little brighter for some local families.

  • Aera joined in the Lamont Christmas Caravan, hosted by the Greater Lamont Chamber of Commerce, which made its way through Lamont and Weedpatch neighborhoods. Families were able to enjoy the event safely from their front yards.
  • Aera also adopted several Taft families in partnership with the West Side Recreation Center, buying gifts and household essentials to be distributed Dec. 22 in a COVID-safe way.
  • Aera’s employee resource groups collected more than 300 gifts for Kern County children as part of Jamison Children’s Center’s Holiday Drive. The center is a 24-hour Temporary Shelter Care Facility, operated by the Human Services Department of Kern County.
Lamont parade

Aera’s Jamie Swetalla joined the Lamont Christmas Caravan Dec. 5, bringing COVID-safe Christmas cheer to Kern County’s Lamont and Weedpatch neighborhoods. Swetalla is a Lamont Chamber board member.

  • Aera employees also supported the Christmas for Seniors of Kern County 2020 program, donating hundreds of non-perishable food items, pet food, slippers and toiletries for low-income seniors and veterans.
  • Aera also purchased 500 coats for local youth for Communication Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) preschools in Kern County in partnership with the office of Assembly member Rudy Salas.

Though a majority of Aera’s employees continue to work remotely due to COVID-19, their giving spirit hasn’t waned at all.

“Due to the circumstances 2020 has challenged us with, we were unsure if people would be able to give this year,” said Jamie Swetalla, Aera public affairs coordinator for Kern County. “However, we have employees who have given this year at the same level – if not even more – than in years prior.

“Many of our employees have gone down to single-income households, and they are still giving,” she added. “It’s amazing how our people go above and beyond to give even when they are faced with their own challenges.”

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